Gift Cards Remain a Top Incentive Item

Survey: Gift Cards Remain A Top Incentive Item
The majority of U.S. businesses use gift cards to reward employees, company partners and customers, spending $22.7 billion annually, according to a new study released by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF). Data shows 59% of U.S. companies employ non-cash award programs and 52% use gift cards, frequently incentivizing staff members.

“The economy over the past years has affected many things, but the research confirms that the use of gift cards in business is still very strong,” said Betty Weinkle, past president of the Incentive Gift Card Council. “We find that the convenience, variety and desirability of gift cards contribute to their ability to motivate, reward and recognize.”

Open prepaid cards (which can be used almost anywhere) and closed-loop cards (which are accepted by one vendor) are much more often used by businesses than restricted and virtual cards. About 70% use open cards, 54% use closed-loop, 14% use virtual and 12% use restricted cards, according to survey data. Large businesses are more likely to use a card provider that delivers different types of cards, while smaller firms are more likely to go directly to retailers for card purchases.

Survey respondents expect their future business spending on gift cards will either remain the same or increase, the IRF report said.

For More information on Gift Programs On-Line or Gift Booklet give CEShoppes® a call today 888.249.0420

**Republished from / Promogram

Custom Chocolates

How to make your Company stand out with Logo Custom Chocolates this Holiday Season

Think about all those you wish to thank this holiday season, employees, clients, and service personnel. Many companies divide all the gift recipients in to groups and create tiers based on different types of criteria. It may be that larger client’s get one type of gift, while smaller clients or employees get a different type of gift.

Decide what type of gift will really “wow” your recipients and make your company stand out. Custom chocolates are a perfect example of that “Wow” type of gift. Your logo or a line drawing of your building, a photo or some other rending that is meaningful to you as a company will make the biggest impression.

There are plenty of custom chocolate gift ideas in the less than $10 per gift price range that can represent your business.  Think about custom chocolates in different shapes. If you are a construction firm you may want to purchase chocolate tools or even chocolate hard hats.  If you are in the entertainment industry a chocolate CD would be appropriate, and if you own any type of trucking, moving or hauling business you could put your logo on a chocolate van, delivery truck or chocolate semi truck.

For just a little bit more, you can add your logo to a large dark and milk bar of chocolate or purchase an edible box of chocolates filled with truffles or industry specific pieces. Cable companies or those that sell televisions or news stations may want to send a unique custom chocolate gift: a chocolate remote.   Companies that sell globally can give custom chocolate globes in varying sizes engraved with your logo.

If you have a large office to give too, or just want to give one larger gift to an entire department instead of individually, then a large milk and dark chocolate assortment would be suitable. A unique idea would be to spell out your message in chocolate squares.

And packaging is just as important as the gift inside. Think about all those presents you receive for your birthday or other special holiday. They are always wrapped in beautiful paper. This makes the excitement of the gift all the more fascinating.  There are many ways you can wrap your custom chocolates. Full color lids that are designed by you is one way, or you can take a full color stock design and add your logo in the middle to make it uniquely yours.

To see more custom chocolate gift ideas for the holiday season visit:

Custom Leather Briefcases as a Gift or Award Incentive

Custom decorated leather briefcases create a unique and memorable corporate gift for many years to come.  And did you know that leather briefcases are kept longer than most other types of corporate gift? That is because they are a practical and functional gift.  The more attractive and well-designed a bag is, especially a leather bag, it will be used more often by the recipient and is a constant reminder of the gift giver.

Custom leather briefcases come in a variety of colors and styles. The newest addition to our leather bag line is from Claire Chase. These high quality, top grain cowhide leather briefcases are selected from the finest sources in the world.
Call about FREE Logo set up on Claire Chase leather gifts with a minimum order purchase. We also specialize in creating custom leather bags with our Claire Chase line to create a unique gift for your company.  Either pick something you already like and tell us what you would like to change, or build it from scratch. Call us for minimums and details today 888.249.0420.

Think about how many times your custom logo briefcase gift or award incentive will be used by the recipient. A briefcase will be used almost every single day and will be seen by more people than any other type of corporate gift because a briefcase is used inside and outside of the office, which means more exposure for your company.

Another way to encourage use of this thoughtful gift is to personalize it with more than just your company logo. It is a proven fact that gifts that are personalized with a name are kept longer than other types of gifts that are given without personalization.  A personal touch can be added by debossing your logo in to the leather and either adding the recipient’s full name or monogrammed initials on another prominent area of the bag.

And best of all, one size fits everyone!

For More ideas on how to use custom decorated leather briefcases in your next promotion or award program visit

Personalized Leather Jackets for Sales Awards and Corporate Gifts

Custom Leather JacketsPersonalized Leather Jackets create a unique and memorable corporate gift for years to come.  When companies offer personalized leather jackets in their incentive or award programs they see skyrocketing results!  There are a number of ways personalized leather jackets can be awarded.

Personalized leather jackets are used by many top companies for:
• Sales awards
• Service and safety awards
• Special promotions and corporate gifts

Some companies will opt to embroider their company logo on the front of a leather jacket. Others will want to use a more subtle approach and embroider the logo inside of the leather jacket, so although your logo is seen each and every time the jacket is worn by the recipient it is not considered a promotional item. In addition to the traditional left chest location your company logo can be embroidered on the “Neck Label” for a subtle, reminder of the gift provider. Certain leather jackets can be debossed or embroidered on the cuff for yet another alternate “low profile” location.

When purchasing personalized leather jackets, you need to look for a professional distributor that really knows the ins and outs of personalizing leather jackets.

Each logo must be properly modified for use on leather, from the stitch type and thread density, to the size and position.  Most leather jackets come with inside embroidery pockets. When inside embroidery pockets are used – It helps prevent the embroidery thread from being seen on the inside of the jacket lining.  Another essential element of a professional embroidery job is the digitizing of the corporate logo into a file than can be embroidered on leather jackets.  Sewing on leather jackets is not like sewing on caps or shirts or any other type of material used for baseball or outerwear jackets.

Debossing is an attractive alternative to embroidery. Debossing is fast becoming the typical choice for decorating on leather. By combining heat and pressure, debossing creates a subtle, yet stylish, way to reinforce your corporate image. Because of the subtle qualities of leather, there are limitations on lettering sizes and amount of space that must be maintain between characters. A professional distributor will be able to help you come up with the right decorating technique that will suit your program and corporate image.

If you want to see more Personalized Leather Jacket options visit

Personalized Ornaments for Christmas or Year Round Giving

Personalized Christmas OrnamentsWhen you hear the words personalized ornaments you think about the holidays and end of year promotions. However, ornaments are great for selling year round in your company store or your organizations gift shop for non-holiday events as well.

Satin shatter proof personalized ornaments are durable, economical and available in a multitude of colors. Your logo will stand out in either a 1 color imprint or with a multiple color imprint. Some shatterproof ornaments can also be imprinted with a 4 color process which is great for photos or drawings. What a great way to commemorate a grand opening or an event with a special picture or drawing that includes an event date!

When looking for a more upscale version of a personalized ornament you can try give an engraved crystal ornament or try a full color crystal ornament that will allow you to create a personalized ornament gift that will reflect your company or organizations branding. With the full color crystal ornaments your background, logo, text and any supplemental design is fused into the crystal by baking the colors in to the piece to ensure vibrancy & durability.

For a different type of presentation try a picture frame ornament. Depending on the type of presentation you are trying to make you could use a personalized picture frame ornament in either a round or a heart shape. Your logo or message of thanks can be printed on the back side of the ornament and a personal photo can be inserted in to the frame on the other side either by you or your customer.

Personalized ornaments make great souvenirs, or are perfect gifts for weddings, baby showers, holiday parties, tourist shops, concerts, hospitals and more.   Ornaments will keep your name and message in the spotlight for years to come.

For more information or to order a product sample visit or call us toll free at 888.249.0420

Wish You Could Get More Done Everyday?

Social Media Traffic Consultants Internet Video MarketingAs you know by now CEShoppes opened a social media division last year called Social Media Traffic Consultants. We were encouraged to do so by so many of our friends and clients because they wanted to achieve the same success with their websites.

Social Media Traffic Consultants likes to stay on top of new products and marketing resources for businesses as they come out, and let business owners know about them when it makes sense.  One of the new products that we have been using actually generates traffic and additional sales from traditional advertising methods, like newspaper ads and mailers.  The program allows the business owner to put prospects and customers in an “automatic marketing follow up system” using a combination of SMS text, email, voice mail and traditional mail post cards.

Go see the NEW video here:

This amazing program is rolling out across the country and now some big firms like Papa John’s and Ford are rolling a version of it out to their customers with a high level of success.  The amazing thing about this autopilot marketing program is there are packages to fit almost every budget.

You can check out a quick video on this amazing auto follow up program here:

If there was ever a time to get incredibly committed to growing your business and doing it on autopilot- then you really have to watch this video.  Give us a call today if you want to put your follow up program on autopilot!

Tips for Partnering with a Promotional Products Distributor

Finding a promotional products distributor to partner with your marketing department to assist you with your awards ceremony, trade show give-a-ways, and client gifts can sometimes be a daunting task. A trip through your local yellow pages or a search on-line can sometimes find you calling many businesses that either doesn’t answer their phone, or you end up talking to a representative that doesn’t know much about the products they are supposed to represent.  Here are a few tips to make finding a promotional products distributor that you can feel comfortable working with throughout your project and possibly one you come to rely on for all of your promotional and corporate gift needs each and every year.

  1.  Look for a distributor that answers their phone and can answer your questions confidently, or at least honestly assure you that they will find out the answer and follow up with your question.
  2. A good promotional products distributor will keep you in the loop at all times during the course of the order.  This does not mean they will email you every day to tell you how the order is going, but will send you emails at key times throughout your order. These would include:
    1. When they have received an order acknowledgment from you, and they provide you with an approximate time frame for when you can expect to see an image proof.
    2. Following up with you on questions about the order and make sure you provide art in the correct format or offer to send it out to be vectored (at a minimal cost of course).
    3. Contacting you once they have sent you a proof to let you know to be looking for it and follow up with you if you do not turn the approved proof back to them in a timely fashion.
    4. Providing you tracking the day after your order ships so you can track your package and see who signed for it, when it reaches your specified destination.

Other ways that a promotional products distributor may help you is their ability to show you a wide range of products to fit your project needs. There are so many different products in the market place and a good distributor will know and recommend products that they believe will work for your type of event, or tell you when a supplier is not a good fit, or has a bad reputation in the industry.

Many distributors have a catalog or website that showcases many different supplier lines. Promotional distributors usually do not get to select who is presented in the catalog because they purchase these catalogs from either their association or an affiliate agency where they may be a member.  It is up to the distributor to steer you away from the suppliers in the catalog that have a reputation for less than stellar quality and show you an alternative with a supplier they are confident will provide you with a quality product and deliver it to you in time for your event.

Make This Years Holiday Business Gift a Collectible

Does it seem to be getting a bit more difficult to pick out your corporate holiday business gifts that will have your clients waiting in anticipation as to what this year’s gift will bring? Why not come up with a yearly theme and build upon it, so that your customers will collect and look forward to your gifts.  Here are the top three business gift ideas that can make a holiday gift a joy to give as well as receive.

  1. Cookie tins are collected by so many people. They use them as decoration for the holiday season, they re-gift them and they use them to keep the cookies they bake during the holidays fresh.  Each year you can design your own full color cookie tin. Don’t forget to add the year, so everyone will know when the cookies were given. Just like holiday ornaments, you can allow your recipients to design a full color cookie tin lid with a yearly contest, or you can have your art department come up with a great design and theme it around the holidays. Either way, you now have a holiday gift that is not only delicious but your business clients can look forward to receiving.
  2. Holiday Ornaments can come in many shapes and sizes. I am sure you have heard of the 12 days of Christmas right? Well, think about giving one of the 12 days each year. Each ornament depicts each phrase of the song, and on the back of the ornament you can add your logo or message.  – Or if you are creative, have a contest with your organization’s clients or employees to compete to create a collectible  design for each ornament.  You can even create your own scented ornaments too.  A good example is a custom gingerbread ornament that one of our clients created last year that was made out of the same material that car air fresheners are made from – complete with its own gingerbread scent. The design opportunities are endless.
  3. Does your company deliver goods in trucks, cars or by train?  There are many hand crafted trucks, semi trailers, and trains that can have your logo imprinted on the side of these collectible gifts and shipped with candy or nuts to your recipient. Each year you can send a wooden collectible from a different time period to your holiday gift recipients and they will have a collectible to treasure. Each time they look at this gift they will think of you.

These are just the top three business gift ideas that can make a holiday gift a joy to give as well as receive.  There are many more ideas in the market place.

How To Make Chicken Pasta Salad

How To Make Chicken Pasta SaladEver need a really quick, but nutritious meal? Maybe you are heading out with the kids to ball practice, or the gym and you need to feed the family but are short on time. How To Make Chicken Pasta Salad  is a quick and easy recipe that will not only feed your crew, but it will take care of almost all the food groups – meat, veggies, & grains. Just add a glass of milk and some fruit and you are good to go. Check out this weeks “Cooking with Tristan” series and see just how easy it is to make Chicken Pasta Salad.

Did you know that CEShoppes has 2 Different Corporate Gift Blogs?

Just like we have many different corporate gift websites that cater to niche markets, we also have blogs that do the same. If you are in to cooking and great food, you will want to check out our Gourmet Food Gift People Blog – featuring “Cooking with Tristan”. Tristan is our 14 year old son who loves to cook and bring you new recipes a few times a month. His latest episode was about “How to Make Smoked BBQ Ribs,” and they were absolutely delicious! He has quite a few more recipes up his sleeve and more that are now playing on our YouTube/Gourmet Food Gifts Channel. For the best of both worlds, check out his recipe pages, that explain each recipe,  notes about what he might not have mentioned as he was making the meal on video and any other little tips or hints – you can also watch the video right from the recipes page.

The Gourmet Food Gifts blog also has the latest in business food gift ideas, and new product launches for the holiday season.  Check it out today!